The breakout success of Lily Allen could be attributed to several key factors, first of all MySpace had reached critical mass as a new means of getting music out to fans online. Secondly, the blog game had finally reached a point where it attracted enough eyes and traffic to become a viable promotional tool for musicians. This was due to the fact Vimeo, YouTube and Dailymotion made it possible for these blogs to embed videos from artists all over the world. In addition, by 2006 Apple sold numerous iPods and the wider proliferation of the iTunes Store helped to familiarize consumers with it enough where they knew the layout inside and out by the time Lily Allen’s Alright, Still was released.
Lily Allen’s breakaway success in America was also aided by a kind of odd two pronged British counter programming campaign as Corrine Bailey Rae was being marketed and promoted successfully stateside through more traditional means to a more adult demographic following the overwhelming reaction to her lead single. This led to a mini British Invasion over the next few years featuring Lily Allen, Corrine Bailey Rae, Leona Lewis, Kate Nash, Duffy, Adele, Estelle and Amy Winehouse. Amy didn’t appear on the radar in America until her lead single “Rehab” from her sophomore LP Back To Black was released in the UK in October 2006. By the time it was officially released stateside the following March it was already a breakout hit as was the album. Back To Black was illegally downloaded by rabid American music fans via blogs in late 2006 who helped to spread the word until it was officially sold in the US in March 2007. The album went on to be hugely successful.
In November 2007, Frank was finally released stateside but the print music press, digital music media and music networks were all so enamored with Back To Black that no none even paid attention to it. In my opinion, Frank is one of the most underrated classic LP’s released in the past decade because it came out too soon for American music fans to truly appreciate it. A full decade after it’s release and it’s failed to even go Gold in North America (Canada & United States). We often think that the story with classic music is that it finds the audience it’s intended to. The unfortunate part is that sometimes it doesn’t happen until said artist is no longer with us anymore. Rest in eternal peace, Amy Winehouse. You are missed.